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Linux Business

10 Linux Predictions For 2002 372

Posted by michael
from the carnac-the-magnificent dept.
Weedstock writes: "In an article on LinuxWorld, Joe Barr is once again making 10 predictions about the success of Linux for the new year." The first of many sets of predictions for 2002, no doubt. And some guy named "Robin" or "Roblimo" or something like that wrote about Linux in 2003 for Newsforge.
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10 Linux Predictions For 2002

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  • by Geek Dash Boy (69299) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:29PM (#2757233) Homepage

    As far as I can tell, item #4 has nothing to do with Linux directly. Unless of course you believe it's a matter of MS vs. Linux and that's it.

    Methinks Linux is about creating a good operating system, not about killing Microsoft. Or did I miss something?

    • Well, presumably anything significant that happens to Microsoft would have a profound effect on the acceptance of Linux in the marketplace. Although the article does not say this, one would think this is how it relates to Linux.
    • Boy, it's an amazing world...

      I was pretty sure that ALL of them had to do with LINUX, even if not directly...

      #'s 1,2,3,6,7,8 and 10 are directly about LINUX

      and #'s 4, 5 and 9 are about the competitive PC/ MS v LINUX marketplace...

      though i suppose that you could argue that even though number 9, the Darker Image is about taking a shot at MS too, it's principally a good natured poke at some of the less "user friendly" members of our community....

      after all guys, it IS LINUX WORLD magazine....

      IMHO, i'd say that #'s 2,3 and 7 are serious blue sky

      #'s 1,6 and 8 are mulligans

      and that 4 and 7 are karma bets

      9's a gag and

      10 is probably the most accurate of them all

      BTW, Joe, stay away from Theo for a while

      • by ninewands (105734) on Friday December 28, 2001 @12:09AM (#2757541)
        1 and 6 maybe mulligans, but I'd call 8 more of a "gimme" ...

        I've seen screenshots of an official (and not even alpha quality) official AOL client for Linux.

        Given AOHell's recent decision to join the Liberty Alliance, could it be that AOL's partnership with Sun (as in Sun is the center of the Netscape iPlanet world now) has addicted AOL-TW to the need for open standards???
        • I have used and so has over ten thousand people that bought an AOL connected pad from Gateway an AOL client for Linux.

          And the client can be removed from that midori linux install and ran on a regular linux install.

          it's just that anyone with those abilities dont WANT to run an AOL client.
        • I've seen the linux box a bank in Spain gives away with accounts that runs an AOL client to allow people to do Internet banking.

          Whether it will ever be released as a seperate client is highly doubtful in my mind, think of the support retraining costs AOL would have to justify.
    • I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

      I agree. Anyone got the GPS coordinates for Bill's office? :-)

  • by hooded1 (89250) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:30PM (#2757240) Homepage
    I'm surprised he didn't predict that Linus Torvalds would be elected head of the UN, and linux would be installed ona satellite thus rendering us the ability to communicate to alien species.
    I doubt that the CIA/FBI/NSA even uses windows XP for any sort of confidential information. Most like they're still running the nearly bug free Windows NT, or some incarnation of unix.
    • I doubt that the CIA/FBI/NSA even uses windows XP for any sort of confidential information. Most like they're still running the nearly bug free Windows NT, or some incarnation of unix.
      You're right. They use certified "secure" operating systems, like Trusted Solaris (based on 2.5, although a version based on 8 is now out, it'll be awhile before anyone switches over), HP-UX Trusted (based on 6.5 or 7.0) , Trusted IRIX (based on 4.0 or 6.5), Trusted AIX, Trusted Oracle (based on 7.2.3), and other systems that have been thoroughly audited and tested by the DOD.

      Also, the government's secure systems are not even connected to the internet. They're on a completely separate network, the SIPRNET, which is highly encrypted before it leaves the buildings. So, for his #5 to happen, some agency would have to adopt Windows XP early in its life cycle (not their style at all), connect it to the internet (doesn't happen), or inadvertently let someone into their server room (yeah right).
      • I'd add to this that, if I were an admin worth his salt and was told that security was my prime concern, linux would never even cross my mind. If I were to pick any open source unix-like, it would be OpenBSD, hands down. About 10 minutes looking through Bugtraq should be enough explanation for my reasoning.

        No offense, Mr. Barr, but the idea of Linux running on sensitive CIA or FBI computers seems patently ludicrous to me.
  • "predictions"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by skotte (262100) <iamthecheezeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:31PM (#2757244) Homepage
    Is that a list of predictions, or just a wish list?

    "let's see, kick microsoft's ass; win in court; make big money; be fFamous fForever; eat pizza"

    (not that i have anything wrong with that list .. but lets call it what it is.)
  • Predictions (Score:5, Funny)

    by sydb (176695) <michael AT wd21 DOT co DOT uk> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:35PM (#2757254)
    1. Tux will fly
    To this day flightless like other penguins, Linux mascot Tux will shake the world by flying into the Eiffel Tower, prompting a renewal of the 'war on terrorism'.

    2. Slashdot will be free of trolls
    CmdrTaco will utter the regexp to end all regexps, and the lameness filter will finally work. Forever.

    3. RMS installs Windows
    RMS, leader of the Free World, will renounce GNU purity and follow the temptations of Microsoft by installing Windows 2.0. From the horses mouth: "Freeware like GNU just doesn't cut it when stacked up against real software made by real programmers with fat wallets. It's a moral choice really - the corporations deserve our dollars. Freedom shmeedom."

    4. There is no prediction 4.
  • wishful thinking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by javaaddikt (385701)
    It doesn't matter how wonderful, secure, stable and efficient Linux is--it will never take over the desktop until there are gay little wizards and paper clips talking to you, and both major GUI's can come together and standardize or one of them dies (I'd vote for Gnome biting it). The problem with Linux (really *nix in general) is that there are just too many ways to do something which overwhelms new users. I don't think it is so much just not wanting to learn something new. Also a problem is that most average users are oblivious to MS problems--they just don't hear about them, or if they do they don't know how to patch or just don't care because they think security breaches will never happen to them. Unix types are power users. We want everything customized how we want it to a T. Most users just don't care. If they can get their email--great. Just "point and click."

    As for business--I see continued growth. With the addition of things like stateful firewalls and journaling filesystems, more business are going to be installing it in more critical applications.
    • That is completely and utterly ridiculous nonsense.

      Yes it would help to have a PRIMARY desktop that comes by default for new users, but you gain absolutely nothing by limiting choice. A small percentage of normal users become power users and will want to switch to a more powerful desktop, and a larger percentage of normal users think they are power users and will want to do the same. The argument that choice is going to prevent Linux from taking over the desktop.

      All this being said real power users use the desktop for opening shells 90% of the time so it doesn't really matter anyway .
      • by Mawbid (3993)
        ...but you gain absolutely nothing by limiting choice

        Yes, you do. Here's an example. I'm looking for a good gui database front-end. You know, the kind of thing you use to design tables, set access permissions, enter sample data, browse, try out queries, etc. Many people have written such tools for Windows and Linux. On Windows, there's basically one variable: the database server. Each tool may or may not work with the database server I'm using. On Linux, there are more variables.

        One is the package format/distribution support. Some frontends aren't packaged for Debian so getting them to work on my system is a little harder (I may need to manually satisfy some library dependency or whatever).

        Another is the application framework or widget set. One tool uses Gnome, another uses KDE, there's one using Tcl/Tk, and an old one uses Motif. Only some of them really fit my Gnome desktop. I can still use the others, but that's not the point. The point is that one developer has learned Gnome programming and another has learned KDE and they're not ever going to work on the same GUI together. One guy's choice of a desktop has prevented another guy from contributing to the project.

        The end result of all this is that I've spent hours browsing freshmeat, downloading software, compiling it, and finding that none of it is really good. (BTW, I'm still looking, so suggestions are welcome.)

        I believe choice in software is a good thing, but it's wrong to say that it doesn't come at a price or that the alternative has no merits at all.

        • So what, get a tar ball don't get a package. You have to manually get in there to make Windows work as well. My CD-Writer worked out of the box for linux and took two hours to manually find/install the dll's needed under windows. My tv capture card STILL does not work under windows.
          Secondly differing widget sets work no matter which desktop your using, I run koffice on my gnome desktop regularly. That is the point. It down't matter if every developer that comes down the pipe can work on a particular project, a greater percentage can thatn can jump in on a windows project.

          Furthermore, you are crossing the, admittedly, blurry line between a newbie user and an experienced one. It's probably safe to say that NO newbie users are looking for database frontends.

          No choice has absolutely no merits above choice. The standard Linix desktop will be able to meet Joe Blows needs, and that is where the desktop market lies. The fact that there are alternate choices for desktops has absolutely no bearing on that fact.
    • Re:wishful thinking (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Alex (342)
      Gnome bite it?

      Is this the same Gnome that Sun and HP have chosed as their next generation UI or some other Gnome?

      One of linux's greatest problems is the KDE vs Gnome "issue", sadly I think it is pretty unlikely that either of these will bite it. They are both great desktops environments, but the conflict/split between them diverts efforts away from any real chance of desktop dominance.

      The fact that these two groups compete is great for linux users, but not for the "linux market" and I would have thought is a major factor discouraging companies porting software to linux.

      Alex
  • number 6 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by banky (9941) <`moc.gnihsaboruen' `ta' `ggerg'> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:36PM (#2757259) Homepage Journal
    I think you'll see this happen more than once, in some form or fashion; someone will kick W2k or XP out of the datacenter, and it'll be a high-profile linux win.

    BUT: I don't see it as a linux win. It'll be a Red Hat win, or an IBM win (or Suse, or Debian, whatever, I'm not playing favorites here). Linux will not, per se, win the day. The services and "value adds" and all that crap will be what gets written about; the pundits (read: ZDNet) will talk about how so-and-so (Red Hat, IBM, whomever) sent in armies of consultants, promised to tailor things to their hardware, etc etc. In other words they'll downplay Linux.

    It'll be a win, but everyone (most of all MS) will try to convince the world that it was a different game.
    • Re:number 6 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thesolo (131008)
      BUT: I don't see it as a linux win. It'll be a Red Hat win

      Would that really be so bad though? If you give Red Hat the market share that MS has right now, do you really think they would be as bad as MS?? The code is still open, and you are welcome to do whatever you want with it. IMHO, Linux is Linux is Linux, regardless of what company manages to push it out.
    • Yes, but as soon as the first company kicks XP out of the datacenter (or off the desktop, why not?), that is the beginning of the end for MS.

      Can you imagine if people in that company's, say, IT department recieved an email attachment from a vendor in OfficeXP format, and then called that vendor up and told them to re-send it in some cross-platform format?
      Chances are it would prompt that company's vendors and business partners to switch OS's also.

      And so on,

      And so forth.

      And since "compatibility" and monopoly are all MS has going for it, MS will disintegrate like an loaf of bread in a warm bath.
  • by glwtta (532858) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:37PM (#2757263) Homepage

    Computers will become faster!

    And will have more RAM!

    Linux will continue to develop!

    etc... What would we do without this sage guidance?

  • Oh come on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:38PM (#2757265) Homepage
    I really don't think that Microsoft discontinuing support for old versions of Windows will make anyone switch to Linux.

    When was the last time you called up MS for tech support for Windows? Most people just don't care, or are even aware MS will provide any tech support at all.

    I don't anticipate a large exodus to Linux when MS stops providing support. There's no reason at all to think that people will move to and learn a new *operating system* that doesn't provide them anything new over Windows 98 with no official support.

    Everyone has been predicting that Linux will explode any minute now for *years*. This won't make it happen any sooner. Fact is, Linux doesn't provide anything over Windows for the vast majority of people, and MS has massive marketing muscle. Linux isn't poised to overcome that at all. Linux will need a ton of marketing money, and do something WINDOWS DOESN'T.

    As much as people make fun of MS never innovating anything, everything I see in Linux development is meant to bring its functionality in line with Windows. If I see anything in Linux that enables me to do more than Windows, and do it with more stability (sorry, in my experience, Linux with X gives a much more unstable environment than 2k or XP), I'll give it another try.

    For the moment, for me, it's XP on me desktop, 2k on my laptop, and OpenBSD on my server.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

      not just support, no more directx updates,no more security patches, no more anything from ms.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Zillatron (415756)
      I really don't think that Microsoft discontinuing support for old versions of Windows will make anyone switch to Linux.

      When was the last time you called up MS for tech support for Windows? Most people just don't care, or are even aware MS will provide any tech support at all.

      The point is not what Microsoft will do. They never did do support for the OEM versions of Win95 I owned. That is something they left for the vendors. (a note to those of you that buy the OEM versions from your local computer shop: You are the only support you have. Study well.)

      What is far more significant to me is that now that Win95 is an unsupported product, no one else feels the urge to make anything work under it. For me, no problem; I've moved on. However, I've spruced up and passed on old Windows boxes to a couple of my relatives. The non-profit for whom I do tech support is running on a donated Win95 box. What are these people going to do when they can't use functional anti-virus software when connecting to the internet? What happens when they can't install the new version of some software to read a document (and the StarOffice import filter doesn't yet cut it)?

      These people will be left out in the cold, and I don't see myself recommending they give uncle Bill $99 for an "upgrade" just to be supported for another 15 months. Linux has been and is difficult for someone who is not interested in computers to install. It is getting better and I'm learning more myself. Windows is getting harder to use as it becomes obvious that the software has a time limit on it even without a pre-defined end to the license.

      As these two things cross you can bet your bottom dollar I will migrate the dozen people I now support to a better, open platform.

    • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Malcontent (40834) on Friday December 28, 2001 @12:16AM (#2757560)
      "As much as people make fun of MS never innovating anything, everything I see in Linux development is meant to bring its functionality in line with Windows. If I see anything in Linux that enables me to do more than Windows, and do it with more stability (sorry, in my experience, Linux with X gives a much more unstable environment than 2k or XP), I'll give it another try. "

      Yet another MS troll modded up the wazoo.

      Look at where the linux desktop was a year ago. Now extrapolate another year. You see where I am going here. A year ago linux desktop was little more then a dream right now KDE looks and works great. KDE 3.0 will probably be even better.

      And you know what it does not ever need to catch up or surpass windows. I remeber a year or two ago anytime a SQL server vs Oracle debate sprang up on usenet the MS people always made the same argument. SQL server is good enough to do what you want and it costs much less. The same argument goes here. As soon as Linux is good enough OS with good enough apps everything then the price factor will kick in.

      When faces with a choice of spending nothing and getting 80% of the functionality or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars corporations will start making the switch. Once they switch people will start switching at home.

      Having said all that I am still waiting for something in windows that is as elegant as syslog.
      • I agree.

        I don't get this "Linux doesn't offer anything" crap. I seriously think people who say this just aren't keeping up with where we actually are (today, December 28, 2001)

        Redhat 7.2 and Mandrake 8.1, IMO, are easier to install than any kind of Windows. And smoother, (much) better looking, faster...

        I don't get it, I can't think of anything wrong with it other than that it isn't windows.
        (I'm talking current versions here.)

        Anybody could deploy Mandrake 8.1 in the workplace and be up and working in a heartbeat, and that's the truth.
        • well, i installed a fresh redhat 7.2 last week on my new campaq 1720us laptop. it found the d-link wireless card ok and seemed to like my video card (radeon mobility) but the eepro100 driver didn't work right.

          the scroll button things on my laptop was unknown to linux, windows didn't know about them either, but compaq provides drivers for win32.

          Besides the network cards being flaky things worked ok, but i actually configuring anything became a complete nightmare, like trying to compile the latest kernel with redhat, trying to get some wireless hacking stuff, etc..

          Right now i'm trying out freebsd which so far has worked out a lot better, it doesn't have the same problem with the network card, it saw the wireless, though it didn't know about the video card right off, but getting XFree to figure it out wasn't that bad. Generally i find freebsd to make a lot more sence, being at it's only one operating system and not a collection of things packeged together. when people talk about freebsd i know what there talking about, unlike linux where your distrubution really does matter (at least with redhat).

          anyway, maybe if i really knew the in's and out's of how linux worked it i would find it workable, but to me, i can't imagine making it a primary OS, i like linux, but thats mainly because i like fucking with computers, and it's no fun if computers just work right, there needs to be a lot of effort to make it feel worth while.

          hmm.. better add this
    • I certainly agree with you that home users are not likely to migrate en masse to Linux anytime soon. In fact, I think that OpenOffice is much more likely to become a major problem for Microsoft than Linux. Linux's primary advantage for the home user is cost, but home users almost certainly already own a license for Windows. It came with their computer. OpenOffice, on the other hand, would give them nearly all of the functionality of MS Office (and MS Office file compatibility to boot) at a fraction of the cost, and it even runs on Windows.

      That, my friend, is likely going to prove a very enticing offer. In fact, I wouldn't be one bit surprised to see major OEMs offering StarOffice pre-loaded. It would be a very straightforward value-add, at a rock bottom price.

    • Everyone has been predicting that Linux will explode any minute now for *years*. This won't make it happen any sooner. Fact is, Linux doesn't provide anything over Windows for the vast majority of people, and MS has massive marketing muscle.

      First, no, not everyone has been predicting that.

      Second, Microsoft's OS takes a higher and higher percentage of total computer costs.
      15 years ago, Apple dominated the desktop and the PC won because it was maybe 20 to 30% cheaper. Now, we already have reached 20 to 30% of the price of a desktop-system that will go to MS (when you buy retail), which means that a Linux system could be 20 to 30% cheaper if it were preinstalled.

      Because of OEM discounts, Windows-machines are still competitive, but as hardware costs continue to fall, Microsoft's fraction continues to rise and soon alternative computer makers will be able to offer significantly cheaper "naked" or Linux-preinstalled systems than the big OEMs and that will help Linux very much.

      It's just a matter of time.

    • I really don't think that Microsoft discontinuing support for old versions of Windows will make anyone switch to Linux.When was the last time you called up MS for tech support for Windows?

      I think you misunderstand what it means when M$ discontinues support for old versions of Windows. It means there will be no new drivers. It means all new software will be certified to run on XP, and will probably fail in interesting ways on older OSs. It means that if you depend on new applications or new hardware, you will be coerced heavily into upgrading to XP.

      Then you are in a tough place. You need to accept the new licensing plans. Or consider switching. Personally, I don't hink many people will switch to linux.

      This is a classic Microsoft tactic to coerce people into upgrading. The basic policy is
      1) Coerce OEMs into preloading.
      2) Stop support for old operating systems
      3) Make subtle compatibility changes in Office file formats. DOC format is extensible, so this is easy to do.

      If you combine the effect of all of these, and take into account interdependence of Windows users, Microsoft can coerce EVERYONE into upgrading. Most people will not have a choice - they have to be able to exchange documents with others who use Windows.
  • from 0.24% to 0.48% :)

    Seriously, this may sound funny, but heck, if amiga would have 0.05% TODAY it would mean more machines out there then all of the machines put together back in the early 90s.

    Even 0.1% of the market IS a market, I'm not in marketting but with the number of computers out there, if you can create some killer app for that 0.1%, I'm sure you can get under the spot light pretty easily.
    • Very important point. Desktop share doesn't even need to increase for Linux to be an important desktop market segment, because the absolute number of desktop Linux users will continue to grow rapdily along with the absolute number of computer users.

      I think the 0.24% number arrived at by WebSideStory may be a bit low, but they're probably right about Linux's desktop market share not increasing over the last few years, though the number of desktop Linux users certainly has increased (for every geek-like entitity I know that has migrated to Linux, dozens of people became first-time computer users, running Windows almost invariably).

      For desktop share to increase, three things need to happen:

      1. Best of breed web browser. Mozilla is real close.
      2. Nearly seamless MSOffice replacement. OpenOffice is probably a year or so away.
      3. Easily available hardware pre-installs. Don't know what will make this happen. #1 and #2 would help.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Having worked with a number of businesses before, I know that upgrading to Windows XP will come automatically to 99% of the general population. I used to work for a company whos programs worked under DOS/Win96/Win98. We'd get calls from companies that used our software and would say "I just upgraded to Windows 2000 and now your software doesn't work." That's right. I'd always ask, what else are you using the system for? "Nothing, just your stuff." Well, then, why are you upgrading to an uncompatible system? Time and again, it was the same story. In another year, it'll be the same again. Users calling in to say their programs won't run under Windows XP. So why upgrade? Their dealer told them to. They'd rather upgrade to a new $10,000 system then stay with something that worked. Also, 99% haven't even heard of Linux and the people I mention it to refuse to switch over (instead of getting a newer Windows version)because they don't want to re-learn their system. In short, Linux has a long, uphill road to walk before challenging Microsoft. People just aren't informed.
  • Yeah, right (Score:4, Flamebait)

    by W2k (540424) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `suilesnevs.mlehliw'> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:46PM (#2757283) Homepage Journal
    This should be under "It's funny. Laugh", not "Linux Business".

    Both pure Linux and dual-boot Linux/Windows machines from top-tier OEMs will start to appear in the marketplace...

    Yeah, right. TheRegister might think Mandrake is easier than Windows XP to install, but actually running even this the most simplified of Linuxes is still beyond the average joe sixpack user. This is the only thing really keeping Linux from desktops at the moment - well, that and hardware/software compatibility - but I don't think it's going away any time soon.

    The Microsoft/DOJ "settlement" will be tossed out by the judge as being completely one-sided ...

    If both sides agree on it, why would the judge toss it out? As for the hold-out states, more of them will drop off once the settlement goes through and the ones that remain will be stuck with Microsoft for another year or so, eventually having a very limited impact.

    A major three-letter intelligence agency will suffer a public and catastrophic breach of classified data because of exploits in Windows XP and ban its use completely ...

    This is just hilarious. Firstly, I doubt that any "three-letter intelligence agency" (there aren't that many) are running XP at this point, or are planning to start doing so. If they're running Windows at all, they'll be on 2000, which is getting pretty secure now that it's been out for a while.

    At least one global megacorp will announce a complete migration away from all Microsoft Windows platforms ...

    This is quite likely, actually; as Linux becomes more usable and more well-known to big businesses looking to save money/improve security, some companies will undoubably decide to move. Others will decide that Linux/Mac/whatever they were on before wasn't right for them, and switch to Linux. Stuff like that happens all the time. I am thinking Joe was running low on ideas at this point :)

    AOL will stun the world by releasing a beta AOL client for Linux ...

    Yeah, sure. And Tux the Penguin will be replaced by Joe the Wannabe Journalist.

    (I don't have a sig)
    • A major three-letter intelligence agency will suffer a public and catastrophic breach of classified data because of exploits in Windows XP and ban its use completely ...

      MSN?

      Oh, wait. Intelligence, you said ... :)

    • Both pure Linux and dual-boot Linux/Windows machines from top-tier OEMs will start to appear in the marketplace...

      Can anyone explain where the market demand for dual-boot OSes is?

      I can see a small number of Slashdot MCSE-types that want to play around parttime in Linux but are too lazy to install it, but I can't see what good it will do in the real world. It would increase support costs and therefore the total price of the system, though.

      The only argument is that it would be good for advocacy reasons, but, sorry, that does not cut it.

      (As a datapoint, IBM shipped all of their corp machines dualboot OS/2 and Windows 3.1 for a while back in the day, and both the OS/2 and the Windows customers bitched to high heaven.)

      On the other hand, we're already seeing pre-installed Linux for the corporate market, and that's only going to get bigger. You just need to be a big enough account that you have the right phone number over at Dell or whatever, but I'd bet that it will be come a mainstream OS choice shortly enough. But the last thing corporate MIS wants is their users choosing which OS to boot!
    • Yeah, right. TheRegister might think Mandrake is easier than Windows XP to install, but actually running even this the most simplified of Linuxes is still beyond the average joe sixpack user.

      But so is running Windows! You don't want to know how many questions about windows I have to answer from friends, familie and neighbours, how many machines need reinstalls that they cannot do themselves, how many windows machines are crashing all the time because the owners don't know how to find and install all the latest drivers and patches, and how many virii, trojans and spyware I have removed from those pc's! And let's not forget all the unsecured windows boxes on broadband, happily serving DDoS attacks...

      There may be a common perception that Windows is easy to run, but it sure as hell ain't easy to run right.

    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:2, Interesting)

      by redcliffe (466773)
      You may laugh at preloaded Linux-only, or dual-boot machines, but I work in a computer shop and have already sold several preloaded machines with dual-boot linux systems. Why do they want them? Most want to just learn about the OS and because many of them want to get away from Microsoft.
    • This is just hilarious. Firstly, I doubt that any "three-letter intelligence agency" (there aren't that many) are running XP at this point, or are planning to start doing so. If they're running Windows at all, they'll be on 2000, which is getting pretty secure now that it's been out for a while.

      I count five. That's a decent amount.

      FBI, NRO, CIA, DIA, NSA.

      And yes, some of them have migrated various orginizational desktops to XP; and to linux as well.

  • by Spackler (223562) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:48PM (#2757286) Journal
    This is almost the same article I read in 1995! Back then, I was involved in a newsgroup discussion on usability for Linux on the desktop. Most of the predictions, and complaints from back in the day are still there. Sure, there has been polish added, and some really cool features. The kernel has added lots of new features, but the only interface I have seen that came close to a real desktop has been on a freaking Mac (and I HATE macs). At some point in the future, a group will get together and put together an opensource desktop that my wife could use, and be happy with. After 6 and a half years, I won't hold my breath. Don't get me wrong, I'm already running the 2.4.17 kernel on my Thinkpad. I just wonder if predictions like "Linux desktop will appear in public places" are realistic when it is really an OS for nerds, and will continue to stay that way until a real organized effort takes place to bring about a simple desktop.

    Flame answer 1: Yes, Gnome and KDE are great, but they are great for geeks, not moms. Maybe end the political crap and have them get together for a cookout at my house to bury the hatchet and take the best code from both to make KDGnome? That would kick some ass!

    Flame answer 2: Because Macs are great for destop publishing, but that is not what I need to do. (and yes, I know it's BSD, and not Linux)

    Flame answer 3: Sorry Linus. You have done great things here, and I have great admiration for your work. I know you are not competing with MS here. I would just like to see Linux knock the head off of Bill's empire. It get's predicted every year.

    Flame answer 4: I know, I know, I have all the source code. I should write it myself, right? Well I suck at programming C, and I am man enough to admit that I could not write production level code for a project like that.

    Spackler
    • Hmmmm..my mom uses Mandrake 8.1...she has no problem. ZERO. I just installed the new ELXlinux for a friend of mine (who FEARS Linux), and I'd have to say ELX has got the right idea. Go to their website...look at the screenshots.Then make a partition and install that sucker. I'm a 7 year Linux veteran and I was AMAZED at what they produced.
    1. Linux business sector will emerge from slump

      Red Hat will continue to increase market share, sales and profits, leading the ragtag band of open source survivors out of the wilderness of the recession to the land of black bottom lines.

    2. Linux desktop will appear in public places

      The Linux desktop will achieve a measurable market share on consumer machines and an even larger share of desktops for business and government. The growth will be fueled by both continuing refinement and improvement of the desktop, the growing dissatisfaction with Windows performance, security, and pricing, and the easing of Microsoft licensing restrictions.

    3. Linux preloads will follow suit

      Both pure Linux and dual-boot Linux/Windows machines from top-tier OEMs will start to appear in the marketplace as Microsoft ever so slightly begins to loosen its death-grip on the preload marketplace.

    4. Landmark antitrust case will drag on

      The Microsoft/DOJ "settlement" will be tossed out by the judge as being completely one-sided and the court will compromise between the demands of the holdout states and the DOJ. Microsoft will appeal the new finding to the Supreme Court since it would -- unlike the terms of the current "settlement" -- actually prevent them from continuing many of their illegal business practices.

    5. U.S. spy-secrets will be revealed

      A major three-letter intelligence agency will suffer a public and catastrophic breach of classified data because of exploits in Windows XP and ban its use completely. Previous security incidents involving the loss of classified data will also be revealed. Eyes (and heads) will roll.

    6. Microsoft will be expelled, Linux will be installed

      At least one global megacorp will announce a complete migration away from all Microsoft Windows platforms to an interoperable mix of Unix, Mac and Linux platforms.

    7. Linux in prime time slot

      TechTV will add a pure Linux show to its lineup. Hey, it couldn't hurt. They laid off 135 employees in November, some say as the result of losing touch with their geek side. Leo Laporte has been Linux friendly for years, to the point of having Linus Torvalds as a guest. In 2002, Linux earns its own spot in the lineup.

    8. You have (secure) mail

      AOL will stun the world by releasing a beta AOL client for Linux. This event will be marked by both howls of protest and celebration. Command-line interface (CLI) diehards will proclaim it to be the death of Linux. Most will simply acknowledge its growing popularity.

    9. Darker Image PR firm to debut

      Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD fame, Arpad Gereoffy of the MPlayer project, and Brett Glass will team up to form a new PR firm called Darker Image. The concept is simple, like reverse psychology. For a fee, the team will act as advocates for your competition. Rumors have it that the dynamic trio is already in discussions with Redmond about championing the Free Software Foundation.

    10. The revolution will continue as scheduled

      Just like last year, my final prediction drives home a simple point. Whether any of the previous predictions come true or not, it's going to be another banner year for GNU/Linux. It's popularity in the server, desktop, and embedded spaces will continue to grow.


    • > 5. U.S. spy-secrets will be revealed

      > A major three-letter intelligence agency will suffer a public and catastrophic breach of classified data because of exploits in Windows XP and ban its use completely. Previous security incidents involving the loss of classified data will also be revealed. Eyes (and heads) will roll.

      Not quite the same thing, but this interesting note appeared in Risks Digest 21.83 (available on newsgroup comp.risks) -

      Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 00:59:00 +0000
      From: "michael e. goldsby"
      Subject: Wiretapping equipment compromised: FBI, CALEA

      A recent series of four newscasts on the Fox Network alleged that
      U. S. telephone call records have been falling into the hands of
      international organized crime. Call records allow traffic analysis but do
      not disclose the contents of the conversations.

      However, the newscasts further alleged that the equipment used by the FBI to
      do the wiretaps authorized by the CALEA legislation (1994) has been
      compromised. It is said to contain back doors that allow unauthorized
      persons to obtain access to the contents of telephone conversations. The
      back doors were not put there by the FBI and are not under their control.

      Partial transcripts of the newscasts are available at
      http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40684,00.html
      http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40747,00.html
      http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40824,00.html
      http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40981,00.html

      The second newscast cites an example of a 1997 Los Angeles drug case in
      which access to telephone call records was used to "completely compromise
      the communications of the FBI, the Secret Service, the DEO [sic] and the
      LAPD."
      Alas, the links now say "this story has been removed". Insert your favorite conspiracy theory as required.

  • Da Mods (Score:4, Funny)

    by Snowfox (34467) <snowfox AT snowfox DOT net> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:50PM (#2757291) Homepage
    "YEAH! Go Linux! Windows sucks!!! eat my r3d hat, M1CR0$OFT!!!"
    SlashPh3ar +1 Insightful! bojoH4X0R +1 Funny! eliteboss +1 Informative!

    "Though it's hard to beat Visual Studio for rapid application development."
    l33t0r -1 Troll! bsdnut -1 Flamebait! bojoH4X0R_2 -1 Overrated!

    "Except that it constrains you with heavy licensing for the end user."
    h4ckerrocket +1 baaaaah! linuxd3wd +1 InMyLittleWorld!

    "Which probably doesn't matter, since 90%+ of your customers already have Windows installed."
    supercod-R -1 NotMyBag! CmdrTac0 -1 Heretic! superHaK -1 Blasphemy! C0deG0d -1 KarmaTorch!

    Sorry about that. Sit on my hands, no more rum before posting.

  • by ender81b (520454) <billdNO@SPAMinebraska.com> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @10:50PM (#2757292) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me or is he (and everybody else) prediciting that linux will become a desktop os because someday (maybe) it just might come true and they don't want to miss it.
    Linux is no closer to being a user-friendly, capable desktop app than it had been in the last 3 years. Try telling the 12 o'clock flashers about compiling a kernel and mounting hard drives and they will give you the "blank stare of doom".
    In truth, MacOS X is what Linux needs to become if it ever wants to succed as a desktop OS for the average joe (i.e good apps, nice interface, seemless hardware support, and a good unix command line just in case).
  • by thesolo (131008) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:03PM (#2757325) Homepage
    AOL won't make any significant number of people move from Windows to Linux. 99% of the people on AOL are there because they don't know a lot about computers, and they don't care to. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but how many average AOL users could you see understanding "./configure, make, make install"?

    Linux is still very much a geek OS, and since most geeks want broadband or real PPP dialup, I wouldn't see AOL making a huge dent if they did release software for Linux.
  • by Snowfox (34467) <snowfox AT snowfox DOT net> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:05PM (#2757330) Homepage
    More and more sites are relying on embedded closed-source media players which don't work and play well with most free-as-in-speech browsers. It's tough to get a proper feed from many of the major news sites anymore.

    Similarly, a surprising number of online banking services, auction houses, etc are putting Windows-centric code on their sites, limiting site usability for many potential customers.

    I'm looking forward to seeing if there's going to be a backlash against that in the coming year. When sites realize that a good chunk of users are being cut off, could we see "platform agnostic" and "Linux-friendly" become marketable buzzwords, causing sites to leap on the bandwagon and to start performing real Linux usability testing?

    And if "Linux-friendly" logos, icons and similar start to appear on sites, could the alternative operating systems enjoy even more visibility as a result?

  • by ellem (147712) <ellem52 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:08PM (#2757343) Homepage Journal
    Nothing will change:

    Linux will improve. No one will care --
    A third desktop will emerge and really confuse everything (KDE and Gnome being the other two .. I know there's more)

    OSX will barely maintain Apple's market share and everyone will agree that it is the best OS ever.

    Windows 10wnU will be released. Despite massive security flaws and a wicked licensing scheme will continue to rulle the desktops.
  • This will be true only in ISO-8859-1 [terena.nl] (or ISO-8859-15 with Euro) world or at least 8bit simple encodings world.

    For other billions of people (Chinese, Indian, Arab, and so on), Linux desktop (with XFree86, GNOME, and KDE) is far from usable for average people.

    In other words, there are still remaining large market for such billions of people.

  • by Darth Paul (447243) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:20PM (#2757368)
    I say...

    1. Business as usual. Linux will continue slowly replace Unix servers. Windows will continue to sit on the desktop. Talk of a mainstream linux desktop will continue for several more years.
    • I'll add: Linux will gain ground on the desktops of cost-conscious businesses and government agencies, but consumers who buy whatever Gateway and Dell are putting out will continue to get Windows, by default, not knowing what it's costing them and not knowing what they're missing.
  • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:21PM (#2757370) Journal
    1. More samba shares on the local networks at work as Comm Tech managers get bigger bonuses for saving oodles of Microsoft license dollars.

    2. More IIS web servers replaced with Linux and apache as Web Group managers get bigger bonuses for saving oodles of Microsoft license dollars.

    3. More Tomcat implementations as said managers save money on the Weblogic license dollars.

    4. More failed companies who think they can "cash in" on this Linux thing....

    5. The people that started in the garages and basements....(went to work for a few months at various linux startups and got bitter when the stock dipped below a dollar...and they got layed off...) --> will return to the garages and basements...God bless them.

    6, VA decides that the only way to pay the /. bandwidth bills is to replace all content with one great big banner add on /. .... and when that does not work they will be bought out by x10.com -- and www.slashdot.org will resolve to 10 popup windows for mini cams.

    7. The end of world peace.
  • Back in December 2000, I made a prediction that in December 2001, trade rag writers would be publishing articles making predictions for 2002. Looks like I was right. Damn I'm good!
  • "Should I keep using windows98, even though microsoft doesn't support it any more, or should I switch to this lie-nucks thing that I don't understand, nobody supports it, and bob's son down the street can't fix for me?"

    Hmmmm
  • Desktop adoption. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bobzibub (20561) on Thursday December 27, 2001 @11:45PM (#2757465)
    My wife now finds it easier to use my Linux box to:
    -check web mail
    -read and print doc/xls files
    -surf w/o crashing browser
    -use dial-up
    -other business stuff.
    ...rather than boot up her NT box to do the same.

    Now with software we use (Moz/StarOffice/KDE) being so nice, stable, & useful, the desktop is at last becoming a viable alternative for Windoze users--with just a little prompting.

    To me, the interoperability with Word/Excel/Exchange is the critical thing for businesses. In 2000, this clearly did not work well at all. I think 2002 will indeed herald the year that linux will be occationally adopted as an alternative in corporate environments. Reading/printing these file formats (and protocols) is now *finally* reliable. Ximian's Exchange connector completes it for most businesses.

    I don't think that the desktop not being adopted in large numbers this year was because IT managers didn't want to do it, it was because they couldn't do it.
    Now they can.
  • by Gleef (86) on Friday December 28, 2001 @12:05AM (#2757524) Homepage
    Joe Barr did a similar article for 2001 [linuxworld.com]. Here's how he did:

    1. Linux Kernel 2.4 will be released, and will trounce Windows in the benchmarks
    Half right. 2.4.0 was released, performance was good, but not as good as it could have been. It's gotten better since. Nobody that I know of has done comprehensive benchmarking. I'll give this one a half point.

    2. MS Findings of Law overturned, Findings of Fact stand. Ordered back to lower court. DOJ loses zeal for case
    Almost perfect. The Conclusions of Law stood, but the Final Judgement was overturned. Everything else was on the nose. I'll give this one a full point.

    3. Consolidation and attrition of Linux companies. Fewer distributions. RedHat & VA merge. SuSE & Atipa merge.
    Didn't happen. There were some mergers, but no big ones. There was much attrition, but primarily on the fringes of the Linux world, the rest of the computer industry was much harder hit attrition-wise. There are more distributions than ever. There are no superdistributions, in fact, I'd say more people realize today that RedHat != Linux than a year ago. No points.

    4. KDE and GNOME continue as separate projects.
    Easy point.

    5. Linus stops heavy kernel hacking, focuses on community leadership.
    You've got to be joking. No points.

    6. One of the big five computer retailers offers a Linux boot (or dual boot) for a retail desktop machine.
    Nope, didn't happen.

    7. Widespread government desktop adoption of Linux
    Nope, didn't happen. More servers tho.

    8. Bruce Perens shakes up HP.
    If it happened, it was completely behind the scenes. From out here, it looks like Compaq's pleading to be eaten had much more effect on HP's management than Bruce did. He has had some effect, and he's still there, so there's always next year. No point.

    9. Linux stocks will thrive.
    Ha. Hahahaha [lwn.net]. Hahahahahaha. Seriously, they didn't do badly compared to the rest of the tech stocks, but I would hardly call it "thriving". No point.

    10. Another great year for Linux
    Easy point.

    So, last year, he got three and a half out of ten. One was a complete giveaway (#10), and most people would say #4 was a giveaway too. Not the most impressive set of predictions.
    • 6. One of the big five computer retailers offers a Linux boot (or dual boot) for a retail desktop machine.

      Didn't somebody just announce a Crusoe based dual-boot machine a little while ago? It might not be shipping yet, but I'd give a half point for that. (I wish I could remember who it was).

      7. Widespread government desktop adoption of Linux

      There have been reports of various French, German, and Finnish government bodies 'seriously considering' Linux. Even if they're just using this a bargaining tool with MS, I think that still deserves a half point. My own prediction is that these pioneers will lead to widespread government use over the next year or two.

    • So, last year, he got three and a half out of ten. One was a complete giveaway (#10), and most people would say #4 was a giveaway too. Not the most impressive set of predictions.

      And I'd quibble with the half point for #1. As he says, predicting the release of 2.4 is trivial and the real prediction, that it would unambiguously "kick W2K's butt" was completely wrong.

      By the way, along with the medals Joe has awarded himself for his accuracy last year, I'd like to throw in a "Pot, Kettle, Black" award for the bit about "Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD fame, Arpad Gereoffy of the MPlayer project, and Brett Glass will team up to form a new PR firm called Darker Image. The concept is simple, like reverse psychology. For a fee, the team will act as advocates for your competition." Anyone who has read Joe Barr's postings on LinuxToday message boards will figure he's in line for Darker Image's board of directors.

  • Anyone know what Goodyear is running for their POS machines in the retail garages? I bought new tires this week, and noticed that they had an X screensaver running. Looked like 101-key keyboards as well.
    • Circuit City is moving in the same direction. They're headquartered here in Richmond, VA. An acquaintance of mine is a lead programmer on a team responsible for creating custom GTK apps for their POS systems. I don't know all the details, but I believe they're using Red Hat as their base distro (which, I guess, isn't that suprising).

      Other people that are deploying Linux are Home Depot [informationweek.com], Burlington Coat Factory [internetweek.com], and The New York Stock Exchange [idgnet.com]. Of course there's also IBM, but they [ibm.com] hardly [ibm.com] need [ibm.com] mentioning [internet.com].

      I think it's fair to debate how well Linux fits certain needs, but so far there has been solid proof that it fits some very large needs for some vary large companies. By 2003, I think the outlook is nothing but positive. Shooting for world domination is a grand goal, and capturing the desktop world would seem to be a huge piece of completing that goal. As much as we talk about it, I think we all understand that our grandmothers won't be using Linux anytime soon. In the meantime I'll be perfectly happy knowing that Linux is being used for the high-scale, back-end systems, while Fischer Price My First Operating System [microsoft.com] hangs out on the desktop.
    • Anyone know what Goodyear is running for their POS machines in the retail garages?

      Good god, man - this is /., where trolls feed on the unwary. Choose your TLAs carefully - POS is a no-no, when you mean Point Of Sale, not Piece Of Shit. ;O)

      Soko
    • Anyone know what OS all of those NCR automatic teller machines run on? It's certainly not an MS product, probably some breed of *nix, but I'm sure it's not linux.

      My point is that most people will not notice if linux boxes appear in public places - unless they are plastered with penguin stickers.

  • by mlinksva (1755)
    Re: Barr and Roblimo predictions. VERY BORING.

    I'm excited about several potentially significant projects that may have their first "stable" releases next year. Everyone knows about OpenOffice [openoffice.org], Apache 2 [apache.org] and Mozilla [mozilla.org] (I'm surprised that neither article mentioned the last two). Here are a few others:

    • Subversion [tigris.org] version control rethought, could replace CVS as free software tool of choice
    • E [erights.org] capability secure programming
    • Reptile [openprivacy.org] reputation-based content aggregator
    I want real money idea futures [ideafutures.com] for all predictions!
  • by XBL (305578) on Friday December 28, 2001 @01:00AM (#2757650)
    First of all, I want to state that I think Linux will continue its growth in the server market. With IBM and other major companies now pushing it in their products, there is no going back on its growth. Linux is here to stay in the business world for many years to come.

    As for Linux on the desktop, I have to remain skeptical of its success. If MacOS X never came about, I'd say their are definite possibilities, but now there is just too much going on besides Linux. Here are reasons why Linux is not going to succeed on the desktop anytime soon:
    • Software companies are currently devoting a good chunk of resources towards updating their applications for XP, and also exploring possibilities of using new XP "features".
    • .NET will also consume more software company resources that could possibly be focused towards Linux desktop software.
    • Apple is going to be releasing faster, more appealing hardware along with an improving OS X. Software companies are going to get distracted into doing new Mac versions of their applications.
    • A high-end multimedia explosion is about to hit the computer industry. Over the past several years, multimedia has been a joke in my opinion, but now hardware and software is actually capable of doing some useful and cool stuff. When I read about wireless IEEE-1284 (Firewire), see new media features come out like DVD-RW+, and video software that does a million things in a simple package, I don't even begin to think about Linux. Sorry.
    If Linux was where it is now, two years ago, I'd say it had a good chance. Now the future is looking even more bleak. I don't like saying that, but it's the current reality. A bronze medal is still not that bad though, when you think about it...
    • Hey moderators, read the parent's sig, and mod it up as funny!

      (Ok, that was more or less just humor, but, seriously, how is Mozilla going to be the future (that was the sig when I read this post, anyway) when all this multimedia stuff is so important? Is Mozilla going to be able to handle it? Then why won't other open source apps be able to handle it? Serious question, not a flame. (I have an iMac, and I don't look for any applications like iMovie to be coming out for Linux any time soon, but if desktop video is ever really that important, I think the open source world will find a way to support it. Yes, it's possibly an order of magnitude harder than word processing, but we have an order of magnitude more contributors...I don't know, I'm just guessing.)
      • Umm, maybe because they want to get the web browser part finished before moving on to other things...

        Moz's capabilites will grow as needed. I don't think anyone will ever want to watch DVDs or whatever in their web browser, dumb ass.
  • So says Red Hat's Michael Tiemann in yet another Linux in 2002 article [cnn.com] at CNN. "There's no doubt that high-end graphics are going to be Linux-driven, as is high-end computing"
  • by Cardhore (216574) on Friday December 28, 2001 @01:35AM (#2757722) Homepage Journal
    • Debian will become harder to install.
    • Rock Linux will become popular for Slackware fans.
    • Mandrake and RedHat will need to use 4 or more CD's for their next editions of their distributions.
    • Marcelo will release many Linuxes. He will call them 2.4.18, 2.4.19, 2.4.20, 2.4.21, 2.4.22, and perhaps even 2.4.23.
    • Windows XP will get 3 service packs.
    • Gnome will release gnome 2.0 in the second week on June.
    • OpenOffice will be released 3rd week of March, after StarOffice. They will become extremely popular.
    • Ogg Vorbis will see its 1.0 release in the first half of September.
    • Mozilla 1.0 comes out April 5th, exactly as listed in their timetable.
    • by MAXOMENOS (9802) <maxomai.gmail@com> on Friday December 28, 2001 @03:36AM (#2757901) Homepage
      What the hell, I'll throw these in:

      • KOffice and Gnome Office will agree on a standard XML-based file format for documents, spreadsheets
      • Mono and dotGNU will start to make serious and obvious progress towards a fully-functioning system.
      • Python gets serious mainstream attention as a Java-killer. PHP practically replaces Javascript. Nothing ever replaces HTML.
      • IBM buys a large chunk of VA; staff cuts hit Slashdot, Newsforge.
      • By the end of 2002, Linux either reaches or is building up anticipation towards a 3.0 release
      • The Glade and Glimmer projects will merge
      • Ximian either starts or takes leadership of a project to build an Access-like and/or FoxPro-like front end for any relational database that has an ODBC API
      • Amazon and Yahoo! report strong 4Q and 1Q earnings. Venture capital returns for dot-com business ventures.
      • Unemployment rates for computer professionals drop back down to 4% by mid-2002, from a high of 8% in late 2001.
      • FBI scores major busts of warez and terrorist rings based on IRC, MUDs, and on-line game networks.
      • Ashcroft starts major cryptography crackdown; privacy activists are bitterly disappointed.
      • FBI scores major busts of warez and terrorist rings based on IRC, MUDs, and on-line game networks.

        Sure, that's what I mud for.

        Its the ease of going to an IRC network, hunting down the first channel that is simular to #cablewarez, and using the @find command that I avoid. To simple for me...

        Compare this to a mud.

        race Hey, I need a ress.
        You echo (elf channel): "Hey, I need a ress."
        t shogrot That was a good pk.
        You tell Shogrot: That was a good pk.
        Shogrot tells you: Shutup, elf newbie
        t shogrot Got Photoshop 6?
        Shogrot tells you: I'm going to kill you as soon as you get ressed again, if you don't shut up.
        think
        You think.
        t Erafridel Do you have Photoshop 6? I need something to do while I wait for a ress.
        You tell Erafridel Do you have Photoshop 6? I need something to do while I wait for a ress.
        Erafridel tells you: Nope.
        t Syralos Do you have a copy of Photoshop 6 I could download?
        You tell Syralos Do you have a copy of Photoshop 6 I could download?
        Syralos tells you: What weird magic is this 'Photoshop 6' you speak of?
        sigh
        You sigh
        t Herasth Got Photoshop 6 Warez?
        You tell Herasth: Got Photoshop 6 Warez?
        Herasth tells you: Yep, but I'm in Australia on 56k dialup.
        scream
        You scream


        Much more entertaining then IRC

  • What the fuck is this guy smoking? Like so many others have said this ought to be 10 pipe dreams for 2002. Not one thing he said made much sense at all and in general sounds like a half baked article he came up with at 6am to meet a 7am deadline.

    1.) Purple twinky induced fantasy.
    2.) Yet more fantasy, this time assuming users of Linux GUIs will be able to paste text between different applications written by different people. Back when there was growing dissatisfaction about IBM's licensing yet they are still the biggest computer company ever.
    3.) This has been said for the past three years and has yet to happen. Why? Apps developed to scratch an itch are often not too broad in scope and have little intention of starting a paradigm. Apps intended to replace closed source counterparts rarely if ever achieve said couterpart's functionality. You end up with a system that doesn't talk to itself with a quarter of the features you could get for paying for something.
    4.) People woken up from being cryogenically frozen for the past year could fucking tell you this.
    5.) Right. Do you know what sort of systems REALLY classified data is stored on? Probably not. Three letter agencies don't exactly order their super secret computer systems from Dell with Windows 98 installed on them.
    6.) No. That is just retarded. Unless several dozens apps somehow get ported to Linux magically this will not happen. No one is going to prepackage and OS they can't sell software for. Case in point BeOS.
    7.) Maybe. Leo Laporte likes Linux but I've never heard him actually say anything he has really used it for. Wow you can replace a small handful of Windows programs with it that is sure to impress alot of people. A Linux TV show would be like a live action freshmeat.
    8.) What the fuck? That is the most ridiculous thing in the entire article which in itself is notable. AOL on Linux would be like putting a vinyl interior in an Abrams tanks. It's asthetic vinyl...fitting to a fucking tank.
    9.) *bong sound*
    10.) see 9
  • by markj02 (544487) on Friday December 28, 2001 @04:04AM (#2757935)
    I think Linux desktop efforts will largely continue to be a flop when it comes to the consumer or corporate space. Oh, the Gnome and KDE GUIs are about as good as Windows at this point (my mother doesn't even see much difference between KDE in Windows mode and Windows), and the basic applications are fine for home users. But Windows is a money machine for small software houses, which can sell all sorts of expensive little add-ons without fear of being cloned out of existence; these people make up a cottage industry of Microsoft advocates and supporters. And corporations believe they can't live without Outlook and Word because that's what everybody else in the world is supposedly using and because the people in them have invested too much of their careers in it already. These basic dynamics are largely unaffected by the few other developments in Linux GUI space (Mono, etc.).

    Another factor hindering Linux desktop adoption is motivation. Traditionally, open source software is developed by developers for people like themselves. They know what to do and what works for them. What's the motivation of people working on Gnome and KDE "for free"? Making a desktop usable by the Windows/Mac crowd is a labor of love, but even when doing such volunteer work, the Gnome and KDE programmers delight in customizability and complexity, not exactly a good feature in a mass market product.

    But that's OK. If I wanted to use that kind of software, I would be using it. God knows, I have paid for it with every PC I bought.

    If Linux is ever going to take over large chunks of the desktop market, I think it will be because of some radically and snazzy different new design that that by pure chance catches fire and becomes a fad.

    • I think the biggest thing that is hurting Linux is the fact that ease of hardware support and upgrades are still major issues.

      What Linux desperately needs is Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) automatic configuration support, something that a group of Linux programmers are working on right now. Imagine automatic and/or menu-driven system configuration for GNOME or KDE like you see in Windows 2000/XP, but working as part of the Linux kernel (2.6.x kernel?). This will at once lift Linux out of hacker toy status and into something that most computer users can comfortably use.
  • The kernel janitor project is pretty cool.

    Dave Jones and Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo gave a talk on irc about it earlier this month. You can find the transcript at http://umeet.uninet.edu/umeet2001/talk/15-12-2001/ arnaldo-talk.html [uninet.edu]


    Btw. I don't understand why Slashdot puts the extra space in URL... Is that supposed to protect someone from accidentally highlighting the URL and then middle clicking in mozilla and being miraculously transported to the page?

    • It's to protect the table formatting from being blown out of whack by a long unbroken line. It would break the whole page and you would have to do a lot or horizontal scrolling otherwise.
  • Rob makes a good point in his predictions, and it's something that I see on /. alot. Lots of people out there want to make Linux a Cathederal, with only the 7337 using it. OSS is not about that (or shouldn't be), but it seems that some people on /. ,and in the free software movement don't get that. Not everyone by any means, but just enough to make many people say that they don't want to be involved in this crap. Linux started out in the Bazaar, as did most free/open software, and I think that most of the programmers *get* this, but, I think that many others don't, and they only use Linux because it's not mainstream. So they feel special. There's nothing wrong with this, per se., but by trying to keep linux elite, they put it in the Cathederal, which is not what it's supposed to be about. I think that Linux can be mainstreamed without dumbing it down, and that it needs to be, or the bazaar loses.
  • Defections from MS office to OpenOffice (probably badged as StafOffice 6) will be the most significant thing to happen next year in both private business and government (national and local, around the world). Why will this happen?

    1) Not running Windows on the desktop seriously limits the vendor software that can be run on a desktop.
    2) Office is now as expensive, if not more so, than Windows.
    3) StarOffice has a big name (Sun) behind it, so the corporation can feel that "the CEO can call Scott".
    4) If a big corporation or government starts exchanging documents in StarOffice/OpenOffice formats, their suppliers can meet this requirement without spending cash. Sun do this now.

    Why, when most corporations employ loads of accountants to minimise the tax they pay, don't they put any effort into reducing their Microsoft Tax bills?

    Dunstan

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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